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Friday, October 17, 2008

Kudos and Thanks to All Those Who Taught Me Well

I've said many a time that if it were not for martial arts, I would not be the awesome fitness teacher and trainer that I am today. The arts gave me such a strong foundation that really put me head and shoulders above the rest of my peers when I stepped up and became certified to teach exercise in 1997.

Even today, I call on some of the lessons and ethics I learned from my teachers of the past in my own classes. I'm a firm, thorough, innovative and demanding teacher. As I teach, I realize that part of who I am as a teacher and instructor came from all the wonderful senseis, fighting coaches and teachers (and a dance instructor from Broadway Dance center named Frank Hatchett) I have had over the years.
They were stern, demanding, they pushed me to beyond my limits, made me believe in my potential, and shaped and trained me to be the best. And I know, without being cocky, that I AM the best. Just ask anyone that has taken a class of mine or been trained by me. My mind constantly thinks, searches, evolves, and spits out what is necessary to give my people the best workouts and fitness experiences of their lives.

I just wanted to take time out today to give thanks to all those who taught me and gave me the incredible foundation that I have in martial arts and fitness. As I look back on the past, I can remember hard as hell training days, and times when I wanted to improve and excel so bad that it made me cry. I remember when I first realized that I was good at fighting. I remember the first time that I won a competition. The first time I lost. It was awful. Hell, ANYTIME I lost a fight, it was awful! lol Losing is always devastating just knowing all the hard work you've put in.
I remember not understanding why my teachers were so hard on me in certain moments. At times I felt they went too far. They are, after all, only human. But out of this fierce New York City piece of coal, they wrought a shining diamond, all of them, and I just want to give thanks to every one of them today.
These are the people who taught me to be the teacher, trainer, instructor, fighter, martial artist and phenom that I am today:

Jerry Fontanez
Tae Kwon Do

Mike Mullero
Tae Kwon Do/ Kickboxing

Steven Katz
Tae Kwon Do / Kickboxing / Jiujitsu

Frank Hatchett
Jazz Dance
(Frank is a legend!)

Lee Shabaka
Kickboxing / Boxing

All awesome teachers, trainers and Masters of the art of combat and movement.

I KNOW I'm doing all of you very proud! ;)

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Hypnosis and Weight Loss said...

Hi there Diva, I must say I completely agree with your view on MA and the teachers you've had. I'm a Martial Artist as well and so many times I've looked back at the advice given to me by one of my teachers and thought "wow, I didn't get it back then, but I do now!"

Matt Sison

your "Health Assistant" said...

By just reading this post im convinced i have to try martial arts, i just have to choose what MA i will be. what do you think is the best MA to start with?


What a nice tribute to those that have helped you become who you are. It is amazing how some people can really touch our lives and change our paths for the better. Beautiful post.

Jacqueline said...

Wow! As they say, "Even eagles need a push." Hope your students see and appreciate your true value. Congrats.

The Fitness Diva said...

I hear you, Hypnosis. There were days when I was actually mad at whoever was teaching me at the time, because I disagreed with something they were trying to put to me, whether it was to train more, making me do the same move over and over til I thought I'd go crazy, or telling me I was hard headed, or that I was not trying hard enough. That would burn me up! ;) But it worked!
I'd come to training the next day determined to prove them wrong!
I get it now! LOL :)

The Fitness Diva said...

Health Assistant, I think that taekwondo is an excellent martial art to start with. You will learn fighting techniques, self defense, and katas that are not so difficult to perform that you feel like your body is going to snap!
Learning TKD first gave me a good foundation for every other martial art I learned later, because it covered all the basics.
So, if I were you, I'd try taekwondo first.

Daisy said...

It is very wonderful to recognize those who helped you to get where you are today! I am sure they are all very proud of you.

Robin said...

Hi Fitness Diva,
I thought that was great that you recognized the people, who helped you to get where you are today. Seems the tough love paid off very well for you. I'm sure your family is very proud of you too. :-)

The Fitness Diva said...

Jacqueline, I like that saying! Yeah, I think my students appreciate everything I put into my work. It's not just a job for me; it's my passion! And the rewards are many! ;)

Daisy, thanks! I'd like to think so!

The Fitness Diva said...

Robin, I think that it's important to not forget those that helped make you who you are, including your parents.

Yeah, some of those training sessions and classes were tough! I feel proud of having stuck with it and made it through to the end. I am really blessed to have had them all as a major part of my life during those years. I was a defiant, head strong student that challenged them at times....ha ha...what nerve I had! ;) But they knew how to handle me, and they made me work hard to be my best!

Strongblkwmn said...


It's always nice to look back and thank those who helped you along your path.

lala said...

That is really nice that you have honored those who have helped you.

The greatest thing about the Martial Arts is most of all, it teaches discipline!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Fitness Diva,

That is an awesome array of teachers! I'll say this again, i wouldn't want to be in your way when you are really peeved!

But it's such a wonderful gesture what you did here. showing how grateful you are to those who imparted what they knew. And students usually better their teachers since apart from what they get, they have their own thoughts and ideas to boot.

Having been communicating with you via comments and responses, you have indeed become a diamond - very well put and aptly said.

As a teacher, I can realize how lucky your students are, as a person, I can see how generous you are - because teaching is giving of ones self too. Congratulations! :-) --Durano, done!

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